In Hamburg, German-Greek chef Zinos unknowingly disturbs the peace in his locals-only restaurant by hiring a more talented chef.

Director:

Fatih Akin

Writers:

Fatih Akin (screenplay), Adam Bousdoukos (screenplay)
5 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Adam Bousdoukos ... Zinos Kazantsakis
Moritz Bleibtreu ... Illias Kazantsakis
Pheline Roggan ... Nadine Krüger
Anna Bederke Anna Bederke ... Lucia Faust
Birol Ünel ... Shayn Weiss
Dorka Gryllus ... Anna Mondstein
Wotan Wilke Möhring ... Thomas Neumann
Lucas Gregorowicz Lucas Gregorowicz ... Lutz
Demir Gökgöl Demir Gökgöl ... Sokrates
Cem Akin Cem Akin ... Milli
Marc Hosemann ... Ziege
Catrin Striebeck Catrin Striebeck ... Frau Schuster vom Finanzamt
Ugur Yücel Ugur Yücel ... Knochenbrecher
Udo Kier ... Herr Jung
Monica Bleibtreu Monica Bleibtreu ... Nadines Großmutter
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Storyline

In Hamburg, Zinos has a restaurant serving poor-man's fare; he gets by, but his girlfriend has taken a job in Shanghai, he's hurt his back and can't cook, his feckless brother can be on daily parole from jail only if Zinos employs him (though his brother doesn't want to work), a school acquaintance wants to buy the restaurant property, and the tax authority and health inspector are on his case. Zinos hires a temperamental chef and loses all his customers, signs a power of attorney giving his brother full authority at the restaurant, and buys a ticket to Shanghai. Is this a recipe for disaster? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

restaurant | chef | cook | 2000s | burglar | See All (35) »

Taglines:

Life is what happens while you're busy making other plans

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

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Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Moritz Bleibtreu was cast in Quentin Tarantino Inglourious Basterds (2009) as a part of the bar scene. He canceled because of time schedule problems with the production of 'Fatih Akin's' Soul Kitchen (2009) he already had signed for. See more »

Quotes

Zinos Kazantsakis: I don't like these foods either, but people like them.
Shayn Weiss: They don't have a taste. They have a hole in the stomach. And they fill this hole with shit
Zinos Kazantsakis: System's working like this.
Shayn Weiss: Are you an opportunist?
Zinos Kazantsakis: No, but how can I pay my bills? This place is not a gourmet temple. It is what it is.
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Connections

Featured in At the Movies: Summer Special 2010/11 (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Sonnenbrand
Performed by Solomun & H.O.S.H. (MLADEN SOLOMUN and HOLGER BEHN)
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User Reviews

 
Nicely balanced, generous film from Germany"s most interesting director
9 February 2010 | by ajmelckSee all my reviews

With films like Against the Wall, Crossing the Bridge and The Edge of Heaven, Faith Akin has set a high aesthetic bar at which his newest work inevitably stumbles. Which is not to say that the film is a failure by any means, simply that it must be judged as a minor work in this impressive directors oeuvre.

Set in Hamburg's seedy demi-monde, the film relates the fortunes of the Soul Kitchen restaurant and its unhappy-go-lucky proprietor, with a protein-rich narrative arc from wretched normality through multiple adversities to a slightly more hopeful normality. And while the restaurant moves up-scale gastronomically the story remains comfort food throughout, providing plenty of opportunities for comic set pieces and tragi-comic misunderstandings.

What we end up with is a patchwork of scenes, connected by a narrative strand that connects property speculation, prostitution, drugs and music. None of it quite makes sense, but this is a film ruled by the heart and not the head. What it lacks in precision it makes up for in warmth.

In general the performances are impressive, and the unavoidable Moritz Bleibtreu (who seems to be compulsory casting in any German film worth its salt) is particularly engaging as the protagonist's jailbird brother, constantly swinging his prayer beads as hustles.

The film's lightness of touch is perhaps its saving grace: the music complements the story without dominating; food and cookery play a subordinate, if enjoyable role, but never do we get too bogged down in the niceties of nouvelle cuisine. And this must be the first major film in which Skype plays such a major role. Product placement perhaps but very realistically done.

Another enjoyable aspect is the way in which the interplay of cultures - Greek, Turkish, German, whatever - is handled in a no-nonsense workmanlike way. Perhaps it takes a German of Turkish extraction to do this. My feeling is that other German directors would be more sheepish in their handling of these issues.

In conclusion I'd say that the film is good, not great, and shows that Faith Akin can also make a gentle, feel-good comedy without compromising his higher aesthetic achievements.


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Details

Country:

Germany | France | Italy

Language:

German | Greek | Spanish | Turkish | English

Release Date:

25 December 2009 (Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

Soul Kitchen See more »

Filming Locations:

Am Hasenberge, Hamburg, Germany See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

EUR4,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$20,916, 22 August 2010

Gross USA:

$276,901

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$18,164,139
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color (Fujicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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